Last night (Sat., March 15, 2014) Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweights Ovince St. Preux and Nikita Krylov went to war in the opening pay-per-view (PPV) main card bout of UFC 171 from American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
St. Preux brought the momentum of a three-fight win streak into the mixed martial arts (MMA) contest. "OSP" was originally slated to face a much bigger name in Thiago Silva, but that fell apart in early February when the Brazilian was arrested for a bevy of charges and released from UFC.
Instead he got 22-year-old prospect Krylov, who last dismantled Walt Harris with a huge headkick at UFC on FOX 10 in January. "Al Capone" looked much more at home at light heavyweight after dropping his Octagon debut to a much bigger heavyweight in Soa Palelei.
"OSP" was looking to establish himself as an outside force at 205 pounds, and he did just that with a swift and deadly performance.
St. Preux got the first dominant position by grabbing a Krylov kick for an early takedown. "OSP" maintained side control as Krylov sought a guillotine.
And then, it was suddenly over in strange fashion.
St. Preux reversed with a slick choke that was barely noticeable against the fence, causing Krylov to pass out cold at 1:29 of the first round. The rarely seen move kicked off UFC 171 in style, extending St. Preux's spotless UFC record in the process. With four straight victories, the former University of Tennessee football player is no longer under the radar.
He's a rangy, athletic light heavyweight that could pose problems for most of the rest of the division. St. Preux needs a true test to gauge where he's truly at, so a bout against the loser of UFC 172's Phil Davis vs. Anthony Johnson match-up would make sense. Another great bout for St. Preux would be a fight against Jimi Manuwa, who recently lost to Alexander Gustafsson at UFC Fight Night 37.
For Krylov, the loss is extremely disheartening, but all is not lost. He's still very young and could actually end up benefitting more from the loss in the long run. It may have been ill advised to go for a one armed guillotine from the bottom, but St. Preux did pull off a masterful move.
Krylov will need to go back to the drawing board and obviously work on his ground game. He's been the definition of inconsistent throughout his three-fight UFC tenure, sandwiching an incredible win between two stoppage losses. One more defeat will probably see him head back to the minor leagues to polish his skills.
Ovince St. Preux proved he's ready for a top-level challenge by making extremely short work of Nikita Krylov at UFC 171. With four straight wins, what's next for the surging "OSP?"